RIP Penny Marshall

Actress, director, and producer Penny Marshall has died at age 75. She had an incredible career, starring in an iconic sitcom, directing multiple classic films, and setting records as a female director.

Transcript, over images and video of Marshall and her work; narrated by a female CNN reporter whose name I don't know: As an actress, Penny Marshall was one half of funny-girl duo Laverne and Shirley. The Happy Days spinoff became a hit of its own in the late '70s. Marshall garnered three Golden Globe nomination for her role as tough-talking tomboy Laverne. [Marshall onscreen, in an interview, says: "She would not put up with crap. She'd hit ya. And she was a realist."] That spirit proved more useful behind the cameras, as Marshall went on to direct her own TV episodes and feature films.

Marshall's 1988 comedy Big, starring Tom Hanks, became the first female-directed film to gross more than one hundred million dollars at the U.S. box office. Two years later, she directed the drama Awakenings, about a group of catatonic patients. It received three Oscar nods, including Best Film. Her next project, A League of Their Own, was a box office homerun. [Marshall in an interview clip says: "No girl wanted to write it. They don't like baseball!"] Marshall's depiction of an all-female baseball league during World War II was listed on the National Film Registry in 2012.

Through the years, Marshall credited her success to her brother [and best friend], legendary director-producer Garry Marshall. [Marshall in an interview clip says: "I wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for my brother. Let's be honest — he's the one who pointed me in this direction; he got me parts."] Their playful relationship [was] on display during a cameo for the 1993 Halloween fantasy, Hocus Pocus.

In her 2012 memoir, My Mother Was Nuts, Marshall recounted her upbringing in the Bronx. She recalled two failed marriages, motherhood at 19, and a bout with lung cancer — challenges she overcame with an unassuming sense of humor. [Marshall: "I just like to make people laugh, and I move them in some places. My legacy is that, I hope I gave ya some enjoyment."]
My condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and fans — among whom I count myself.

Thanks, Penny. You gave me some enjoyment. And more. ♥

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